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BLM > Arizona > What We Do > Law Enforcement > Rules & Regulations
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Law Enforcement

Many rules and regulations enforced on BLM lands are listed in 43 CFR (Code of Federal Regulations).  Additional regulations enforced can be found in 50 CFR and various titles of the United States Code (USC).

Some of the laws and regulations that apply to activities on BLM Arizona Lands:

Hunting & Fishing

Hunting and fishing throughout Arizona is primarily controlled by the Arizona Game and Fish Department. Regulations and more information can be found at its website.

BLM in Arizona enforces game and fish regulations through the Sikes Act, which authorizes conservation and rehabilitation programs on BLM lands. These programs are carried out in cooperation with the State. Other acts enforced include the Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act, Migratory Bird Treaty Act, Lacey Act, and Endangered Species Act. Information on these laws is available at this U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service site.

BLM officers work directly with Arizona Game and Fish Officers in the enforcement of wildlife and fishing regulations. More information on hunting on BLM land .... 

Target Shooting

Recreational target shooting is generally allowed on public lands in Arizona. Recreational shooting is prohibited in some areas. 

Detailed guidance is available on our target shooting web page

Additionally, on all BLM lands in Arizona, a fire prevention order is in place that prohibits the discharging of a firearm using an incendiary or tracer ammunition, and the burning, igniting, or causing to burn any tire, wire, magnesium, plastic, or any hazardous or explosive material (including exploding targets).


Law Enforcement Site Links


If you have specific questions on areas that may be appropriate for target shooting please contact the BLM Field Office you plan to visit.

Shooting, possession, and use of firearms are allowed on public lands managed by the BLM as long as the activity:

  • Does not create a public hazard, public nuisance or direct threat to public safety and use. This includes the shooting of any weapon from, across, or toward any road or trail, regardless of the road or trail surface, shooting in an unsafe manner, or shooting in an unsafe direction.
  • Does not damage or destroy natural features, native plants, cultural resources, historic structures or government/private property. This includes using any vegetation or structure as a target, backstop, or target holder.
  • Does not facilitate and create a condition of littering, refuse accumulation and abandoned personal property. The shooting of any glass bottle, container, or material that would break into small pieces and create a hazard or litter is prohibited. All spent shells or brass are considered litter and must be removed by the shooter.
  • Does not violate an existing use restriction, closure order or supplementary rules notice.

In addition you must not possess or discharge a firearm or explosive device in violation of any Arizona State law. This includes possession of a firearm while under the influence of intoxicating liquor or of a controlled substance, and carrying a concealed weapon in violation of State law.

Cultural Resources

The theft, disturbance, or vandalism of archaeological resources is against the law. That includes the surface collection of arrowheads or pottery shards.  These illegal activities lead to the loss of important artifacts and can destroy the scientific information that could be helpful in analyzing the culture of the people who lived at the site.

BLM rangers, agents and archaeologists work closely together to monitor and protect our cultural resources and sites throughout Arizona.  More information is available on our Cultural pages.

Paleontological Resources

Paleontological resources are protected.  More information on current paleontological laws .... 

OHV Use

There are several BLM OHV areas throughout Arizona. Much of BLM land in Arizona has been designated as limited use. In these areas, OHV use is limited to established roads.

In addition to BLM regulations governing OHV use, State laws for OHV use are assimilated by the BLM for enforcement.  OHV laws can be found on the Arizona Game and Fish website.

Things to know about OHV Use on Public Lands:

  • Know where you’re permitted to ride.
  • Avoid wet areas and waterways. They are a vital resource for many plants and animals.
  • If you must cross water, ride carefully and only at designated spots.
  • Remember, cutting switchbacks and taking shortcuts damages trails and causes erosion.
  • Riding off trails can destroy animal burrows and spread noxious weeds that damage habitats and kill native plants.
  • Slow down, then stop when you meet riders on horseback. Avoid sudden movements. Take your helmet off, while stationary, so the horse can recognize you as human.
  • Respect the rights of others on trails.
  • Know where you’re permitted to ride and where you’re not. Respect private property and closed areas.
  • Protect your right to ride. Remember, less sound equals more ground.

Wood Cutting

All cutting and removing of wood from BLM-administered lands requires a permit and is allowed only in designated areas. Wood cutting permits are obtained at BLM Field Offices. The person issued the permit and the permit itself must be present during all wood cutting activity.

With the purchase of a permit, wood tags are issued. Wood tags are used to document the amount of wood harvested. Wood tags must be validated and affixed to the load of wood before it is transported.

Most wood permits are issued for personal use. A commercial wood cutting permit must be obtained for any wood that will be sold.

Common wood cutting violations include:
  • Cutting/removing trees without a permit or in an area not open to wood cutting
  • Cutting green wood without a green wood permit
  • Transporting without a valid wood tag
  • Violating stipulations of permit

Closures

To protect persons, property and public lands and resources the authorized officer may issue an order to close or restrict use of designated public lands. Closures are published in the Federal Register, but do not require a public comment period. Current closures are in effect for a maximum of two years.

To find out more information on closures for an area, please contact the local BLM office.